WHY THE SHOW 'ATYPICAL' IS FOR EVERYONE
POSTED AUGUST 18TH, 2017 | BY DEIDRE CURIEL
Atypical: ‘Not representative of a group, or a type’. Synonyms: unusual, untypical, uncommon unconventional, unorthodox etc.. I guess when you see the pattern here, atypical human beings are boxed into a category of a bunch of characteristics that they do not have. However, instead of speaking on behalf of traits that certain people don’t have, I want to validate one of Netflix’s most progressive and incredible shows that magnifies what traits a typical human being does have.
I won’t make you guess the title, the series is literally called ‘Atypical’. I had about four people reach out to me and tell me that i had to tune in to this show about a man named Sam who is on the spectrum of autism. It’s funny, 24 years of having my brother in my life and that word really never gets any less powerful, because it really just becomes a part of who you are, whether or not you suffer from it personally, or someone you love dearly does.
Sam is an 18 year old man who is a senior in high school and starts to become curious about dating, amongst other things he has never regularly been interested in. See the thing about these amazing human beings is that routine is essential. Autistic people hate change, whether it be a change in environment, feelings, stages in their lives or the lives of those closest to them. One of the greatest aspects of the show is that Sam has a therapist he confides in that specializes in autism, Julia.
Of course Sam’s supermom, Elsa, feels uncomfortable with even the idea of her son dating and possibly getting hurt because, as some of us know, autism is a form of being a very technical person with very unorthodox emotions and an incapability to regulate and correlate all of those emotions and feelings. So if you think they’re confusing to you, imagine how they feel about themselves. The show completely validates what Sam goes through, it explains in details and steps how Sam operates and why he does the way that he simply does.
The series not only shines a light on Sam’s perspective in regards to his autism, but also the perspectives of his family. Now, by default, my favorite character of the show is Sam’s younger sister Casey. Casey is a sophomore in high school with a hell of a talent for track running, and in the show Casey truly tries to figure out who she can possibly be without Sam for once in her life and her struggles and worries on what would happen to Sam if he didn’t have her to lean on.
Without giving too much away, this show is important for all of us to watch. Statistically, with every 42 people you meet, at least one will have Autism (and growing). Awareness is essential because there is no cure, these people don’t get better, they improve and improvement is always amazing but the reality is meltdowns will happen, setbacks are inevitable and it's the same for everyone because we all have them. However individuals with autism need your support and patience. Like us, they want love and friendship, they want to be needed and they love to feel useful and important, the only difference is they don't know how to express that in ways that the rest of us do, they can not pick up on body language, social cues, and sarcasm.
This show is important because representation matters. What is considered ‘normal’ in this world is not an actual textbook criteria of personality traits, its what we were taught and brainwashed to think, because none of us are normal, differences are what make this world so many wonderful things, and without trying to sound like a hallmark card, please watch ‘Atypical’, i think you could really learn something from it that you didn’t know before.
Deidre Curiel is a CUSITEMUSIC.com Blogger out of Chicago
Facebook: Deidre Michelle Curiel